Oh I’ve been looking forward to getting my ears around this tune! Altered Hours are releasing ‘Dig Early’ on 7″ with the Cork-based label Art For Blind (and record store – check them out in Cork Community PrintShop near the bus station) on April 21. The next day, they’re headlining the annual Certain Three tour, bringing together three promising acts and sends them around the country to wow the masses. Altered Hours are headlining – well, they are the best live band in Ireland – and are joined by the enigmatic Myles Manley and Patterns, the latter of whom I am unfamiliar with; their bio is at the bottom of the post. ‘Dig Early’ will be instantly recognisable if you’ve seen Altered Hours live already: it’s the scary tune where guitarist Kevin Terry stares at the crowd and stabs the guitar. On record, the song, which was recorded by Chris Somers at One Chance Out studio, is just as thrilling. The only lyrics are: “Sometimes I feel like I could dig an early grave, sometimes I wish I could lie down and feel safe,” shouted while anarchy rages around them. The video was shot by Mary Kelleher, Izabella Szczutkowska and the band’s Elaine Howley in the TDC in Cork and on the roads of Clare.

Certain Three tour dates:
Tuesday, April 22: The Workman’s Club, Dublin;
Wednesday, April 23: Cobblestone Joe’s, Limerick;
Thursday, April 24: Roisin Dubh, Galway;
Friday, April 25: McGarrigles, Sligo;
Saturday, April 26: The Pavilion, Cork.

Anchored pop-infused shoegaze, as are contemporaries Deerhunter and Panda Bear, Patterns extract the walls of dissonance of bands like The Jesus & Mary Chain or My Bloody Valentine and soften the edges. Using electronics and hushed reverb and delay, they aim towards the otherworldly, putting their vocals to the forefront to create a real emotional core. Speaking about the aforementioned 80s influences, McAuley explains that Patterns “never wanted to be a rock band in the same way that those guys were” making “music that’s somewhere between drone and pop, almost like it’s stretched in two different directions. The sound of 80s shoegaze and noise pop isn’t the only influence on the band’s sound, they lend freelyfrom the Flying Lotus or Brainfeeder school of electronica, as well as the warped pop of Gold Panda. Using Ableton Live, an SP 404 sampler, a Microkorg XL and a host of plugins, Patterns refuse to be one of those bands that record themselves ‘live in studio’, instead opting to mess with their sounds in the trend of many a bedroom artist. Finding ideas in the surreal cinema of Luis Buñuel, the philosophy of Jacques Derrida and the writings of Franz Kafka and Milan Kundera, it becomes clear the band find influence across a myriad of distinct outlets. In a world focused on image and attention seeking, Patterns are a breath of fresh air that recall the days when new music and sounds were discovered through exploration, when gems were discovered live, hidden away in metropolitan backwaters or isolated rural territories.